A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who is the main character in Bessie's first novel, "When Rain Clouds Gather"?

2. In "Makeba music," Bessie states that she believes in what?

3. In "African religions," what does African religion focus on?

4. In "God and the underdog," why does Bessie say the Klansmen make God a white man with blue eyes?

5. In "God and the underdog," Bessie states that there is nothing that moves her more deeply than what?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the conclusion of Chapter 2, how does Bessie summarize her life experiences?

2. Why was it so difficult for Bessie to deal with South Africa creatively?

3. In "Makeba Music," how does Bessie describe the musician, Makeba?

4. When Bessie arrived in Botswana in 1964, what were the major differences that she noticed between that country and South Africa?

5. What is Bessie's opinion of Botswana men?

6. What was Bessie's first experience of racism in a black form?

7. In what ways did emancipation slowly make it's way to Botswana?

8. In "Despite Broken Bondage . . .," how were women treated in Africa before independence?

9. How is Bessie's hatred of the white man lessened in Chapter 2?

10. Why according to Bessie has Botswana survived by "sheer luck and unexpected good fortune"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bessie views African religion as "within oneself," with no need for institutions or communal worship. Does this seem to work well, for them? Why does Bessie think that this fits into their basic philosophy of life? Bessie states that this is the religion of any people who have never been wanted by the rest of mankind nor had the means or education to find God in a "posh place." Do you agree with this statement? Does a place of worship have to be posh? Is the fact of a community coming together more important than the structure that they worship in? Why, do you think, she assumes that all organized religions have elegant places of worship? Do you think she's right? Given the black South African's sense of being set apart from the rest of the world, do you think their type of "individual" worship only serves to emphasize their "aloneness"? Would a more group-based religion make them feel like part of something larger?

Essay Topic 2

Conflict is the main theme of "A Woman Alone". Do you think that there was just as much internal conflict in the book as external? Do you believe that external conflicts are a direct result of individual internal conflicts? Explain Bessie's internal conflict regarding her avoidance of all things revolutionary and liberatory. Was she always proud of this? Did it sometimes create problems with others? Do you think that Bessie avoided these issues because she didn't think that they were effective or because she knew that she couldn't deal with them mentally?

Essay Topic 3

The American woman filled Bessie's world when she arrived in Serowe. Describe her physical characteristics. What made her stand out in the village? What did Bessie come to see her as? If Bessie would have been a more religious person, do you think she would have attributed the "Nigra Goddess" characteristics to the American woman? Was this filling a void for her where religion might have been? Or, do you think that she truly saw God in this woman? The American woman could at times be harsh with Bessie. Was this fair to Bessie? Was there any way that the she could relate to the horrors that Bessie had experienced in her life? Do you think that she was harsh because she thought that Bessie was self-absorbed? Or, do you think that she was harsh because she was trying to encourage Bessie to close the door on the past and move forward by thinking of and helping others?

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